n. A person who sells information, particularly corporate data gathered via research or corporate espionage.
When companies want to obtain corporate secrets, they often pay others to do the dirty work of getting them, said Jim Settle, former head of the FBI's national computer crime squad and chief executive of Settle Services in Technology in Fairfax. "You hire an information broker and you don't ask questions."
Computers provide swift universal access to knowledge. That knowledge is the target of retailers, who collect detailed shopping histories of their customers. It's the target of Internet marketers, who can read your Web surfing history off your hard disk. And it's the target of ''information brokers,'' who buy and sell Social Security numbers — keys that unlock the most personal financial data.
Peter F. Faletti, senior vice president and CFO at lowa-Des Moines National Bank, said that the CFO is the man who has to say "no" and "why not?" in the bank. Today, the job may include such diverse tasks as being a financier (sources of funds), an organizational architect, a catalyst for change, a pulsetaker, an alter ego, an information broker, and an administrator.